Roman - Torso of Dionysus, 140-190 AD


Torso of Dionysus, 140-190 AD

Course-grained Greek (?) marble, 128.3 x 38.7 x 34.9 cm (50 1/2 x 15 1/4 x 13 3/4 in.) overall


Object details

Accession number



Entered Isabella Stewart Gardner's collection (as the "Borghese Bacchus") before about 1897. Perhaps purchased from the Borghese collection, Rome.


Gilbert Wendel Longstreet and Morris Carter. General Catalogue (Boston, 1935), pp. 56-57. (Graeco-Roman, adaptation of the Apollo Sauroctonos by Praxiteles)
Cornelius C. Vermeule III et al. Sculpture in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston, 1977), p. 22, no. 27. (Graeco-Roman, Antonine period, 140-190 AD)
Cornelius C. Vermeule III. "Classical Art" in James Thomas Herbert Baily (ed.). The Connoisseur: An Illustrated Magazine for Collectors 128 "Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum" (London, 1978), p. 46, no. 2.
Rollin van N. Hadley. Museums Discovered: The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston, 1981), pp. 128-29, ill. 129.
Alan Chong et al. (eds.) Eye of the Beholder: Masterpieces from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston, 2003), p. 14. (Roman (Italy), about 140-190 AD, after a Greek type of about 340 BC)

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The languid pose of the figure – hip jutting out as he leans against a vine stump – is derived ultimately from the celebrated works of Praxiteles. The most famous example of the pose was the Apollo Sauroktonos (Lizard-Slayer), known through numerous Roman marble copies of the lost bronze. The use of the drill in defining the leaves and grapes suggests that this work was carved in the Antonine period of the Roman Empire.

Source: Eye of the Beholder, edited by Alan Chong et al. (Boston: ISGM and Beacon Press, 2003): 14.


German, Nuremberg

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